Anyone who deals with the rollout of company smartphones and mobile device management will inevitably come across abbreviations such as COBO, COPE, CYOD, and BYOD. In this article, we explain what is behind each of these abbreviations.
Mobile Device Management primarily refers to smartphones and tablets. Today’s forms of work such as remote work, home office, or hybrid work require the use of suitable communication devices. In contrast to the desktop PC at home with a direct cable connection to the server, router, and multifunctional device for printing and faxing as well as scanning, the user has the mobile technology with them as they literally carry it under their arm or in their pocket.
For the employer, using mobile devices raises several questions, from tax liability to data protection. The first question, however, is in what form the device should be made available. Should privately-owned devices also be used for business purposes, or are employees to be provided with company devices? And if business phones are provided, is the employee allowed to use the device privately? All these questions, and many more, should be clear in advance. But first, let’s look at the different rollout models.
What does BYOD mean?
The abbreviation BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device and includes the professional use of devices whose owner is the employee. In other words, the employee’s own smartphone, notebook, or tablet.
The use of BYOD must be clearly defined and, or it is often called, clearly regulated. Such regulation refers to the rights and obligations of both sides. The employer wants to save costs as much as possible, while the employee wants to achieve the best possible compensation.
For employers, BYOD is an overall “lean solution”. They must invest significantly less in the acquisition and maintenance, care, or repair. Employees receive a financial allowance in return, with them being responsible and accountable for all other matters relating to their devices.
What components are needed for BYOD? How does implementation work, and what needs to be considered in terms of security and data protection? Our free BYOD strategy whitepaper provides you with the answers.
What does COBO mean?
COBO: Corporate Owned, Business Only is the exact opposite of BYOD. COBO means that employees are provided with mobile devices. The associated mobile communications contract is concluded by the employer in their name and at their expense. With COBO, any private use is prohibited, the end device may only be used for business purposes.
The financial burden and responsibility lie with the employer. COBO allows for understandable unbureaucratic control, which can be implemented without any technical problems. However, COBO offers hardly any incentives for sustainable employee retention in today’s world. The user has no advantage, on the contrary, they have an added burden in their day-to-day tasks, since they carry their own smartphone with them as a mobile device.
What does COPE mean?
COPE: Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled is the “happy middle” between BYOD and COBO. The employer provides the employee with a device plus a contract for professional and private use.
With COPE, the employer decides on the type of mobile device and on the design and standardization of the associated mobile communications contracts. This employee-friendly incentive is a standard feature of the 2020s in many companies and industries.
The burden lies with the employer. With COPE, users have both organizational and financial advantages. In other words, a single device around the clock for all their needs.
What does CYOD mean?
CYOD stands for Choose Your Own Device. This model means that the employee can usually choose a device from a list that suits them best.
CYOD is usually offered in combination with COPE. In concrete terms, this means that the employee chooses a device they prefer, either freely or often from a predefined list.
It can be described as a give-and-take between the company and the user, with advantages and no significant disadvantages for either side.
Summary: It Won’t Work Without MDM!
Whether COBO or BYOD, COPE or CYOD, the company stays responsible for several aspects
- To ensure clear and verifiable separation of private and professional life
- To observe relevant data protection requirements in all cases
- To follow relevant tax law in line with legislation and applicable rulings
The basis for achieving points 1 and 2 is a mobile device management system such as Cortado MDM. You can find out what to consider when introducing such a system and what potential obstacles lurk in our Mobile Device Management for Beginners guide.
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